4 In bread/ Food/ London

Bread heaven at World Bread Awards

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Judging in the 2017 World Bread Awards

Imagine this, close to 600 bakers, both professional and amateur sending their very best loaves down to London. Loaves that have to be delivered by 1 pm on judging day.  It’s quite a challenge for the baker, who unless is within easy reach of London and can deliver personally, has to put faith into Royal Mail or a courier to deliver in tie.

Cathedral Hall, Westminster Cathedral

Cathedral Hall, Westminster Cathedral – Isn’t it magnificent?

The World Bread Awards enters its 5th year with a record number of entries. The Awards are sponsored by Tiptree (jam to go on the bread, of course) and Brook Foods (who sell means of making and baking the bread).  Category sponsors included Shipton Mill for the Real Bread Campagin and two new ones this year, Muntons (Malt Bread) and Carr’s Flour (Baguettes) with support from many other companies.

My first experience of the 2015 Awards was not the best, as the postman decided not to deliver my parcel until the end of his run. Too late to meet the deadline despite paying for special delivery!

Last year I entered the Speciality – sweet category. I was leaving nothing to chance, I hand delivered my entry and was thrilled to be awarded a Bronze award.

Sourdough in the Home Baker Category World Bread Awards

Sourdough in the Home Baker Category

Judging the Home Baker Category

This year I was honoured to join the team of judges. We were asked to arrive by 12:30. At that time, most of the breads had been sorted and placed in categories for judging.  Later armed with a “demo” loaf all the judges received tuition from Steven Hallam (Mr Melton Mowbray Pies) on how to judge the loaves. Then we were off!

I judged the Home Bakers – Open category with 3 other judges Dipna Anand, Jack Humphries and Sue McMahon. Whereas some categories had loaves of all the same type such as sourdough, we had a delightfully varied class including both sweet and savoury breads.

We split in to two pairs and once judged we reviewed the highest scoring loaves. Interestingly, these were ones identified as most visually appealing at the start. We judged on appearance, baking, crumb softness and resilience, crumb texture and taste and flavour.

Time for deliberation at the World Bread Awards

Time for deliberation

Each bread was identified by a number only, so we know the winning bread in our category, but at this stage have no idea who baked it! (It was a rather wonderful brioche). Roll on 17 October when the winners are announced.

Tips for next year

My suggestion, when you enter next year, is to submit your breads into categories such as sweet dough, flat bread, malt or baguettes where there were fewer entries (and more chance to win of course). The sourdough category probably received the most entries.

The best loaves were simple without too many different flavours or complicated shapes.

A great day all round

Remember Paul Jagger from the Great British Bake Off?

Remember Paul Jagger from the Great British Bake Off?

On a personal level, it was an amazing day. It’s always wonderful to chat bread with other like minded people. I got to meet a fair smattering of previous Great British Bake Off contestants who were there to judge too.

It was fascinating to see the wonderful breads in other categories and reading comments made by the judges. Always something to learn! Each judge was asked to comment on something that was particularly good about the bread and also to make suggestions on how the baker could make their submission better.

The place for bread

The place for bread

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Stuart Forster
    17/10/2017 at 09:30

    Sounds like a good event to be involved in. WHen I’ve spend long periods in Asia freshly based bread is probably the food that I most crave. Coincidentally, I had my first mini-pot of Tiptree jam in years this week.

    • Reply
      breadbakerdanielle
      17/10/2017 at 17:52

      That and Marmite for me whenever I am away!

  • Reply
    Lee Smith
    07/11/2017 at 08:43

    It’s good to read what happens after we drop the breads off. Just a small 2 hour drive after 11 hrs in the bakery.

    • Reply
      breadbakerdanielle
      08/11/2017 at 09:33

      I know! I was amazed having previously been involved in sending something in.

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